Most dental practices out there do not send welcome letters or welcome packs to new patients who have made their first appointment to visit.

Most dental practices do nothing.

New patient welcome letters and welcome packs are an easy and inexpensive way for your dental practice to differentiate itself from other practices.

But the welcome letter needs to be written in such a way that it adds value and creates anticipation for the new patient.

The welcome letter needs to be written with warmth and care exuding from the words and sentences in the letter.

The welcome letter needs to read like a conversation.

I see some welcome letters that read like signs displaying prison rules and regulations.

The aim of the welcome letter is to build MORE rapport between your team and the new patient.

The welcome letter should ADD to the anticipation of the new patient about their upcoming visit to your dental practice.

Here’s a template that I would recommend:

I’d have the letter written on plain paper with no logos.

It’s a letter. Its not an invoice.

In centered writing at the top, in bold and underlined, I’d have the letter read:

Welcome to ABC Dental Centre.

I’d then open with:

Dear Mrs Jones

It was so nice talking with you today on the phone.

I’d then thank them for choosing your practice, followed by a short sentence about the practice, and I’d include a professional photo of the team [not wearing scrubs]:

Thank you for trusting our friendly team to look after you and your oral health care.

ABC Dental has we have been providing quality dental our services here in [your location] since [write a year] and is now the [state some achievement] dental practice in the [your region].

[INSERT (Professional) PICTURE OF DENTIST AND TEAM ALL SMILING in team jackets (not scrubs)]

Location:

The next thing I would write in the letter is to let the new patient know the dental practice address.

And I would write the address conversationally, with a written conversational sentence about available parking and access to transport.

I would add a professionally taken photo of the outside of your building, along with a map showing access to transport nearby:

Here’s a good example:

WHERE WE ARE:

ABC Dental is located at 152 Marsden Street, between Macquarie Street and George Street, in central Parramatta.

[INSERT PHOTO OF BUILDING TAKEN FROM DIAGONALLY OPPOSITE WITH AFTERNOON SUN ON BUILDING…. MAYBE A PROFESSIONAL SHOT?]

There is plenty of 2-hour free parking [and all day parking] available in George Street.

The practice is located in close proximity to both train and bus services, with Parramatta train station situated only a short 5 minute level walk away.

[INSERT MAP]

I’d then move on in the letter to talk about preparing for the first visit.

We would like the new patient to complete their medical history ahead of time.

Here’s a nice way to include that request in the letter:

BEFORE YOUR VISIT:

As promised, in preparation for your first visit I have attached a copy of our practice dental questionnaire and medical history form for you to complete at your leisure prior to your visit. 

I’d also like to build a sense of anticipation and excitement for the new patient about their upcoming visit, so I’d include the following sentences, offering them a couple of significant points of difference that your practice does that most other dental practices do not.

Offering a guided tour of your rooms, plus explaining to the new patient beforehand that you will be SPENDING TIME with them, are big points of difference:

AT YOUR FIRST VISIT:

We will begin your first visit with a tour of our practice, so that you know where everything is. [our patients love this!!]
We’ll also spend some time before you see the dentist going over exactly what you’re looking to have done at ABC Dental, so that we can make your visits to see us better than you could ever imagine. 

Please bring your medical paperwork and any private health insurance details with you.

 

And the money:

To be clear, it is good to point out to your new patients in the welcome letter [in a subtle manner] that you will be wanting payment on the day.

Put in a statement like this one below that clearly states your practice’s stance about payments and about insurance:

PAYMENT OPTIONS:

ABC Dental accepts all health insurance providers and we have the facility for you to claim any rebate component for your appointment directly on the spot at each visit. [Please , make sure you bring your health insurance card to each appointment.]

We do accept EFTPOS, VISA, MasterCard and Amex with no transaction surcharges.

For your convenience we also offer you a variety of affordable and easy payment plan options, so that you won’t have to worry about putting off the dental  treatment that you need.

 

 

Concluding the welcome letter

I’d then end the letter with a personal sign off by whoever took the phone call and made the appointment for the new patient.

We want the new patient to feel as though they already have a relationship with this person.

The personal sign off is very important.

[Your practice website should have up to date (professionally taken) photos and small descriptions of every team member, so that the new patient can see that there are REAL PEOPLE working at your dental practice.]

The letter should be signed by whoever took the call [with their role]:

Jenny Brown
Patient Liaisons

*****

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